Mar 27, 2018
$8.4 M for growers who are veterans or disadvantaged

Growers who are veterans of the armed forces or who are socially disadvantaged will have access to up to $8.4 million of USDA funding, the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Office announced March 26.

The funding is made through the USDA’s Outreach and Assistance for Socially Disadvantaged Farmers and Ranchers and Veteran Farmers and Ranchers Program also known as the 2501 Program.

“Through the 2501 program, the USDA is building lasting relationships among these farmers and ranchers, the local organizations that serve them, and the USDA’s local, state, regional, and national offices,” the USDA’s Office of Partnerships & Public Engagement Director Diane Cullo said in a news release.

The 2501 Program was originally authorized by the Food, Agriculture, Conservation, and Trade Act of 1990. 2501 grants seek to enhance the equitable participation of socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers in USDA resources and programs, such as Farm Service Agency loans or grants through the Beginning Farmer and Rancher Development Program (BFRDP). Projects may focus on conferences, training sessions, educational materials, or new programs to help these farmers and ranchers thrive and succeed.

Eligible applicants include community-based organizations, networks, or coalitions of community-based organizations; 1890 or 1994 institutions of higher education; American Indian tribal community colleges or Alaska Native cooperative colleges; Hispanic-serving institutions of higher education; other higher education institutions; Indian Tribes or national tribal organizations. Eligible entities must have experience in providing agricultural education or other agricultural-related services for socially disadvantaged and veteran farmers and ranchers.

The deadline for applications is May 15, 2018. See the request for applications for full details. Learn more about this funding opportunity through two teleconferences on March 28, 2018, at 2 p.m. EST and April 25, 2018, at 2 p.m. EST. To join each session, call 1-888-455-1685 and use passcode 7087935.
Examples of FY 2017 funded 2501 projects include a grant to the National Hmong American Farmers, Inc., to provide technical and direct assistance to Hmong farmers in central California who face barriers to successful farming due to poverty and cultural and linguistic isolation. A Florida State University project reached veterans with workshops, online agricultural courses, and 15 farm apprenticeships and managerial apprenticeships at private farms.


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